290 million years
or 71 meters to today
Geological era: Paleozoic / Permian
Some fungi develop the ability to break down lignin. Volcanic eruptions, extensive coal fires and decomposition of lignin reduce the oxygen and increase the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. Oceans become more acidic. There is a rapid rise in temperature (greenhouse effect). The fourth mass extinction takes place. It is the largest in the history of the earth. 95% of marine life and 75% of land organisms disappear. With the Permian, the era of the Paleozoic ends and the Mesozoic begins.
The climate becomes drier and more continental. It becomes warmer, the glaciers above the South Pole melt, the sea level rises again. This happens in great fluctuations; the continents are repeatedly flooded and fall dry again. This creates the large salt deposits.